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There’s a massively popular worship song right now called “Reckless Love” by Bethel Music’s Cory Asbury. The lyrics of the chorus are:
Like a good Reformed blogger, after listening to it I began thinking about the phrase, “The reckless love of God.” Is God’s love really reckless? What does that mean? Does that phrase capture the biblical concept of God’s love?
Reckless - Love - Mean
What Does “Reckless” Love Mean?
First, let me say that I fully understand what Asbury was trying to say in the song. As an artist (I’m using that term loosely) myself, I hate it when people perform theological surgery on art without trying to understand the creator’s intent.
Asbury - Breathtaking - Mind - Nature - God
Asbury was trying to capture the glorious, breathtaking, staggering, blows the mind nature of God’s love. The saving, redeeming, rescuing love of God truly is unfathomable and oceanic. It’s a perplexing, head-shaking kind of love. It’s the kind of love that surpasses words.
I’m totally on board with singing songs that express the wonder of God’s love, and I appreciate what Asbury was trying to do with the song and the words “reckless love.”
God - Love - Words - Matter - Phrase
But even though God’s love detonates our dictionary, the words we use to describe it do matter. And I actually think that the phrase “reckless love” sells God’s love short. It actually minimizes the love of God in some ways.
In just about every context, the word “reckless” either means not heeding danger or not knowing the outcome and acting anyway.
Parent - Burning - House - Child - Sense
A parent who plunges into a burning house to rescue a child is reckless in the sense that they’re ignoring the danger and might die in the process. That could certainly be called reckless love and is probably the most positive example of recklessness.
An investor who plows money into stocks without any knowledge of the company is reckless and will probably end up bankrupt...
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